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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 12.djvu/316

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the cheap and nasty; and in my next paper I am going to return to the easily intelligible, and not wander from it again. The reader who has been at the pains of wading through this month's paper, shall be rewarded in the next one by seeing how beautifully what has been developed in this tedious way can be applied to the ascertainment of the rules of scientific reasoning.

We have, hitherto, not crossed the threshold of scientific logic. It is certainly important to know how to make our ideas clear, but they may be ever so clear without being true. How to make them so, we have next to study. How to give birth to those vital and pro-creative ideas which multiply into a thousand forms and diffuse themselves everywhere, advancing civilization and making the dignity of man, is an art not yet reduced to rules, but of the secret of which the history of science affords some hints.



IN the elegance and variety of their colors, in the splendor and brilliancy of the tints with which they have been adorned by Nature, marine animals have no reason to envy the inhabitants of air; and if in the tropical regions of Africa and America the forests are embellished by the presence of innumerable birds of gorgeous plumage, the Indian Ocean and the Antilles Sea possess countless lesions of fishes that are more beautiful still, whose scales flash with all the colors of the metals and precious stones, while a thousand varied ornamentations are traced in vivid colors on the general tone.

The animals known to our colonists on the Antilles Islands under the names of Demoiselles, Portugais, Bandoulières, are, in this respect, not inferior to the most richly-adorned of fishes. Accustomed to keep near the shore, amid the rocks and in shallow waters, swimming swiftly and ever moving, they are constantly reflecting the splendid colors with which they are decorated. Rose-color, purple, azure, velvety-black, milk-white, are gorgeously displayed on their surface, in the form of bands, streaks, curved lines running in various directions, rings, ocellated spots. These colors stand out boldly on the surface of the body, which furnishes a background of the richest nacreous tints of gold and silver, or of polished steel.

In all of these fishes the body is compressed, and the vertical fins are covered with scales, whence the name Squamipinnes, by which they are known to naturalists. The shape of the body is sometimes peculiar, and the buffalo or cow fish of the Malays is one of the most

  1. Translated from the French, by J. Fitzgerald, A. M.